Palladium stretches its run of record settlements to a fifth straight day
Gold prices ended higher on Wednesday as investors watched global political news surrounding trade and Brexit, and reacted to a weaker-than-expected reading of U.S. retail sales, which spurred some haven buying.
Moves for the precious metal came as Brexit and the “usual worries persist” on Turkey, the Middle East, U.S. politics and the global economic outlook, as well as on uncertainty tied to the continued tariff talks with China, said George Gero, managing director, at RBC Wealth Management, in a daily note.
Gold for December delivery on Comex GCZ19, -0.13% rose $10.50, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,494 an ounce. It recouped much of the 0.9% decline see on Tuesday, when prices for the most-active contract settled at their lowest since Sept. 30, according to FactSet data. December silver SIZ19, -0.38%, meanwhile, edged up by 4.3 cents, or 0.3%, to $17.427 an ounce, after a 1.8% decline on Tuesday.
A report of the retail sales fell 0.3% last month, the government said Thursday, ending a streak of six straight strong gains that helped to fuel economic growth in the middle of the year, as most stores posted lower receipts, signaling that a widely expected slowdown in consumer spending is under way.
“From a technical point of view, we are in a sideways phase even though the short-term trend appears negative as the highs seen in the last two months are declining ($1,550 – $1,533 – $1,520),” wrote Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades in a daily research report.
“Meanwhile, buyers have managed so far to maintain the price above $1,470, holding off any sharp declines and demonstrating that there remains some appetite for the yellow metal,” he wrote Wednesday.
On the political front, China threatened to retaliate over a series of bills backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong that passed the House of Representatives. Investors also were watching Britain’s attempt to exit from the European Union, after the Irish broadcaster RTE reported that Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party was accepting the so-called consent element of the revised Brexit agreement, seen as the last big obstacle to a deal.
“The banks are still painting a healthy picture for the U.S. consumer and while the…retail sales data told a different story, no one is questioning a softening trend in the data,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a daily note. “It seems hard for gold to breakout higher with stocks being so close to record high territory, but the prospects of greater stimulus from the [Federal Reserve] and never-ending trade worries should keep the outlook bullish.”
Among other metals traded on Comex, December copper HGZ19, -0.15% shed 2.5 cents, or 0.9%, to $2.5895 a pound. January platinum PLF20, -0.17% added $1.50, or 0.2%, to $890.70 an ounce and December palladium PAZ19, +0.35% logged another record, up $38.40, or 2.3%, at $1,735 an ounce.
“The unrelenting climb in palladium continues,” said analysts at Zaner Metals, with prices at a record above $1,700.
“Apparently, demand expectations for advanced vehicles continues to outweigh the ebb and flow of overall global economic views, with the palladium market seemingly willing to accept the ‘best case’ scenario, with respect to the global economy and to the US/Chinese trade situation,” they said.